Who Are Aborigines?
Aborigines are Australia’s indigenous people. Recent government statistics counted approximately 400,000 aboriginal people, or about 2% of Australia’s total population. Australian Aborigines migrated from somewhere in Asia at least 30,000 years ago. Though they comprise 500–600 distinct groups, aboriginal people possess some unifying links. Among these are strong spiritual beliefs that tie them to the land; a tribal culture of storytelling and art; and, like other indigenous populations, a difficult colonial history. “The Dreamtime” Aboriginal spirituality entails a close relationship between humans and the land. Aborigines call the beginning of the world the “Dreaming,” or “Dreamtime.” In the “Dreamtime,” aboriginal “Ancestors” rose from below the earth to form various parts of nature including animal species, bodies of water, and the sky.